The Baker Springs Ranch is a 165± acre private retreat or estate with superior improvements and dramatic Bighorn Mountain views located only eight miles from downtown Sheridan. The home overlooks a four-acre pond fed by Baker Creek, a tributary of Big Goose Creek, into which it flows just a quarter mile north of the property boundary. This small lake is stocked with largemouth bass, and brown and rainbow trout. The westerly views from the 3,100 square foot main home combine the Bighorn Mountains dominating the horizon with the private Baker Springs Reservoir in the foreground only visible to the Baker Springs Ranch. The ranch is blessed with some of the earliest water rights on Big Goose Creek and roughly 40 acres are subject to irrigation. This well-improved ranch also has a four-bay heated shop newly constructed in 2019. This rare offering lies just far enough from the Bighorn Mountains to command a truly impressive 180-degree sweep of the Bighorn Front and lots of daylight during the winter months. The nighttime offers an impressive show of stars just far enough from town to not be affected by light pollution, nor does one hear the inevitable noise from the city and its immediate environs.
Just the Facts
- Location: 8 miles west of Sheridan.
- Acreage: 165± deeded acres with approximately 40 subject to irrigation.
- Water: A very early Big Goose Creek water right, a 4-acre lake, and Baker Creek, which is a live spring-fed creek.
- Improvements: A half-mile paved driveway, an executive-quality two-level 3,100 square foot home, and a 4-bay metal shop with concrete floor.
- Aesthetics: 180-degree views of the nearby Bighorn Mountains are dramatic, and diverse habitats and terrain are amazing for such a small acreage.
- Wildlife: Pheasants, upland birds, waterfowl, and deer.
- Fishery: 4-acre lake stocked with both trout and largemouth bass.
- Summary: A very private small ranch just far enough from Sheridan to be in ranching country.
The ranch is accessed off paved Route 331 just off the northeast corner of the property through a security gate. The access road parallels the easter boundary of the neighboring ranch and almost immediately crosses a private steel bridge above Big Goose Creek. After crossing the bridge, one takes the eastern fork to drive straight up the hill leading to the ranch’s overpass entrance. After you have reached the top of the hill, the main home appears in the foreground with the impressive views of the Bighorns towering behind it. As one loops around the driveway to the parking area, to the west is the Baker Springs Valley and to the east is a natural seeded grassy hill providing privacy from neighboring landowners. The house is situated below the privacy ridge overlooking a beautiful four-acre lake. The site is very private and oriented toward the Bighorns, which spread out almost 180 degrees to the west and south. One is aware of virtually no habitation between the house and the mountains because of the way it is sited. The combination of the foothills, the meadows, and the upper Baker Creek Valley from this vantage point is extremely appealing. This is an exceptionally private site, yet it commands amazing views.
An easy to operate small ranch just minutes from a thriving town that offers all the conveniences one could expect in what is arguably Wyoming’s most desirable small community. Spring-fed water resources, a high degree of privacy, and 180-degree views of the mountains.
The Baker Springs Ranch lies an easy eight-mile drive west of Sheridan on paved route 331. It is situated in the Baker Creek Valley, which is a tributary of Big Goose Creek. The ranch is well situated in the beginning of ranch country and beyond the residential subdivisions associated with Sheridan. It lies in its own valley with nearly 180-degree views of the Bighorn Mountain front. Sheridan provides commercial air service with United Airlines providing multiple daily flights to Denver as well as a broad cross-section of essential services and significant social and cultural amenities not often found in western communities of this size.
The ranch is bordered on the north by a neighboring ranch which historically was part of the Baker Springs Ranch. The border was created with privacy and perpetual views in mind. The private paved drive accessed by an electric privacy gate leads along the far eastern border of the neighbor leading to the Baker Springs entrance. There is one substantial neighbor to the east, but the ranch does corner one subdivision on its distant southeast corner. As stated earlier, the Baker Springs Ranch is strategically located in ranching country with most of the neighboring ranches in strong hands.
The nearby community of Sheridan (including its satellite, Big Horn) is considered by many to be the most desirable spot in Wyoming for year-round living. At a relatively low 3,800 feet, Sheridan’s climate is mild and its growing season long by Wyoming standards. The town is prosperous and friendly and continues to attract full-time residents from across the U.S.
Sheridan has a rich western tradition. It is or has been throughout its history the hub for many large legacy ranching operations, such as the Kendrick Cattle Company dating back to 1892, which once operated on over 300,000 acres, and currently the Padlock Ranch, which operates on nearly 500,000± acres to the north and east. The headquarters of the Sunlight Ranching Company, which is said to run more cows than the Padlock, is located just north of Sheridan on the state line. Sheridan is also the collection point for the area’s historic dude ranches – Eaton’s Ranch is not far from the Baker Springs Ranch and is said to be the oldest active dude ranch in the U.S. It is well over 100 years old. HF Bar Ranch, which opened just a few years later, is located 35 miles to the south along the Bighorns. Sheridan is the home of King Ropes and their wonderful private museum. Horse trailers and pickups with the obligatory pair of stock dogs in the back are commonplace.
Sheridan is much more than a cow town, however. It boasts some of Wyoming’s best fly fishing and hunting, gourmet dining, and The Powder Horn, a 27 Hole Championship Troon operated golf course. Based just outside the community of Big Horn resides the nonprofit Big Horn Equestrian Center. It is home to one of the oldest active polo clubs in the nation, dating back to 1893. The Center’s fields are the venue not only for polo matches but for steeplechases, three-day events, soccer tournaments, and the world-famous Don King rodeo, a fantastic historic rodeo that tops off the summer in the first week of September.
The adjacent Flying H Polo Club offers the finest polo fields in the U.S. and brings international level polo to the community at no charge. Theater and visual arts are popular as well, with two artists’ residency programs bringing in talent from across the country.
The Sheridan area has always been oriented towards equestrian activities with old English families bringing polo into the community over 100 years ago when tens of thousands of the horses were raised, broke, and shipped out of the area in the early part of the twentieth century. The earliest cutting horse competitions were staged just a few miles up the road from the Baker Springs Ranch in the 1950s.
The area is easily accessible. There is commercial air service operated by United Airlines providing four non-stop flights to Denver per day. Billings, Montana’s international airport, is a two-hour drive to the north via Interstate 90. It should also be noted that the medical facilities in Sheridan are excellent, including a large hospital offering a variety of specialties, such as a modern cancer center, rheumatology, a cardiac center, and more. Billings, of course, has the finest medical complex in the multi-state area with two hospitals, one of which is now affiliated with the Mayo Clinic and operates on that model.
The Sheridan climate is without question the most comfortable year-round climate for human beings in the state. In general, the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains tend to be subject to occasional extreme conditions, including high winds and heavy, wet spring snowstorms, as well as some warmer days in the summer. However, on balance, the year-round climate is very pleasant as these extreme conditions do not last long. The ranch lies just upstream from Sheridan near the mountains. The elevation is estimated at around 4,000 feet. Growing season is approximately 120 days, and one expects to get two good cuttings of alfalfa hay. There are some farmers in the area growing corn. Winters are subject to Chinook winds which keep the landscape relatively free of other than occasional snow accumulations. Average rainfall is 13.26 inches with most of it falling April through September. Average snowfall is only 28 inches.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
There are 165± deeded acres, of which approximately 40 acres are classified as irrigated. The balance of the acres are classed as dry land grazing, riparian valleys, and the large reservoir.
The ranch improvements are in excellent condition and well organized. The entrance to the ranch is marked by an electric security gate and a paved driveway measuring over a half-mile. Other structural improvements are described as follows:
Estimated at over 3,100 square feet on two levels, this custom-designed wood and stone home was built around 1995 with no expense spared to make it an extremely easy and accommodating home for the owners to use. The main floor features an open-plan living room with fireplace, dining room, and modern kitchen offering big mountain views to the west. The master bedroom suite occupies the north end of the main floor. There is also a half bath and extensive storage, mudroom, and utility spaces which one enters from the oversized three-car garage. The lower level, which also opens out to the lake with views of the mountains, includes a comfortable living area, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. It is designed for guests and grandchildren. The home has forced-air propane heat and air conditioning.
Work and Storage Shop
The newly constructed workshop is a four-bay Morton shop encompassing 1,920 square feet on newly poured concrete. The 30’ X 60’ shop is heated and allows the ability to park jet boats, drift boats, cars, and campers inside.
Baker Creek is a live stream and the ranch does have a four-acre lake, which has been properly permitted. The ranch’s Big Goose Creek water rights are actually put into the lake and are pumped out to the Baker Springs ranch’s side-rolls as well to the neighboring ranch’s center pivot sprinklers. The owner tells us that the ranch is never short of water because they own the third priority water right out of Big Goose Creek, which is ahead of the City of Sheridan and several larger ranches in the area.
No mineral rights are being retained by the owners. However, the owners believe that they did not receive any mineral rights when they bought the ranch.
Taxes are estimated at $5,916 based upon previous years.
The reservoir holds an excellent population of brown trout, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass. The reservoir, unlike many other stillwater fisheries, is fed by a natural spring which is what keeps the water temperatures cooler than other stillwater fisheries providing excellent ecology for bug life and natural food sources for the trout and bass. In addition to the excellent food production, this reservoir produces the cooler temperatures in the heat of the summer in August and early September. This provides a better environment for the trout in particular.
The ranch is home to extensive deer populations as well as pheasant and upland birds. It is also rich in all manner of birds and smaller mammals because of its diverse habitats on a small acreage. It has one stream corridor, rolling foothills, a lake, dry land grazing, and irrigated meadows.
The ranch is currently leased out to a local rancher who does all the irrigating, puts up horse quality hay, and grazes his cattle on the property. The current owner has a comfortable relationship with this hardworking local rancher and helps out when he can. This is a hand-shake, year-to-year arrangement which seems to work well for both parties. We are not privy to the financial arrangement, which we believe is somewhat fluid.
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